Dallas police recommend that everyone using the Katy Trail exercise caution after receiving multiple reports of armed robbery since Oct. 29.
Police said there have been five robberies on the trail in the last five days.
- Oct. 29, 9:40 p.m. - One report of an armed robbery by two men near North Houston Street entrance to the trail near the American Airlines Center.
- Oct. 31, 6:50 a.m. and 7:20 a.m. -- Two reports of armed robbery by two men received near the 3200 block of Maple, near Reverchon Park.
- Nov. 1, 1:40 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. -- Two reports of armed robbery by two men received near the Routh Street entrance to the trail.
In all cases, the victims, who have been both men and women, were exercising on the trail when they said they were robbed at gunpoint. Some of the victims were alone when they were robbed, however one of the robberies involved a couple.
Police said during a news conference Monday afternoon that the descriptions of the armed robbers were consistent, described as: black men in their 20s, standing between 5 feet 7 and 6 feet tall and weighing between 140 and 200 pounds. The men were wearing bluejeans and either grey, blue or black hoodies. In each case, one or both of the men were armed -- but a silver revolver, or another handgun, was present in each of the robberies, police said.
Maj. Max Geron with the Dallas Police Department said the men would stand on the trail, obstructing the path of walkers and joggers, and then rob them of their personal property taking mobile phones, wallets and money.
No injuries have been reported.
"I think the people that do that kind of thing they maybe target certain ones that are more vulnerable," Dallas resident Grant Myers said. "Me, having my dogs with me and being alert. That's why I don't have earphones on."
Robin Baldock, executive director of Friends of the Katy Trail, the nonprofit group that helps manage the trail, said the group generally pays to have two off-duty Dallas officers patrol the length of the trail on bicycles.
"I reached out to the Dallas police department [Sunday] evening and asked them to beef up security on the trail, especially between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. in the morning," Baldock said. "I know there's a lot of people on the trail during the early morning hours, especially with the time change, so we asked them to beef up security. And they've done so."
Baldock said about 30,000 people use the trail in a typical week.
"We have 30,000 people a week on the trail, and we have very few incidents. This is a rare occurrence," Baldock said.
Dallas police said they have increased patrols along the trail, but encourage those who use the trail to be aware of their surroundings and, if they use earphones, to have one ear uncovered.
Police also advise people take note of trail markers in the event they need help from police or EMS.
Some runners said they'll try to be more aware while running along the trail but feel like there's not much else they can do to protect themselves.
"There's cops going up and down this trail all day long patrolling, making sure people are safe. So I'm shocked to hear this is going on," said runner Ryan Sullivan.
Others say they'll remind friends to stay safe and run in groups.
"Just hearing that makes me worried for my friends and for me, since I come here a lot," said Taylor Lozenko, who runs on the trail several days a week.
"I'll maybe post something on Facebook, warn all my friends who live around the area. I have a lot of friends here. Maybe just warn everybody is the best thing I can do," she added.
Anyone with information on the armed robberies is asked to call the Dallas Police Department at 214-671-3584 or Crime Stoppers at 214-373-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous. Tipsters can also share information on Dallas' iWatch app.
NBC 5's Ben Russell, Jeff Smith and Frank Heinz contributed to this report.